National Theatre of Scotland Announces New Scenes for Survival Films

Since May 2020, the National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) has been providing a rich source of filmed entertainment from the cream of Scottish theatre in the form of the series Scenes for Survival. Delivered by NTS in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project, and Scotland’s leading theatre venues and companies, with support from Hopscotch Films, the series continues via their website throughout the month of August.

The latest performances will include the first part of Out of the Woods, a new three-episode short starring Alan Cumming and written by Scottish wordsmith Johnny McKnight. Directed by Andrew Panton and produced in association with Dundee Rep Theatre, itstars Cumming as a father struggling to find his way through the woods on the way to pick up his daughter from her other dad, before his real intentions slowly become clear.

The short series was filmed entirely by Cumming in woodland near his home in the Catskills mountain range in New York State. The first episode will be released online at 9pm on Mon 03 August, and the following two episodes will be released on the following Mondays at the same time.

Out of the Woods will also be one of the first Scenes for Survival shorts made available to audiences through the BBC iPlayer in August alongside a selection of 25 other pieces from the project. Full details will be announced at a later date.

The other two Scenes for Survival releases for the week will include Alone Part 2 from comedian Janey Godley and Dirlo – Am Fear Maireann / Dirlo – The Survivor, a new Gaelic-language short from writer Iain Macrae.

NTS, in association with the Federation of Scottish Theatre, the McGlashan Charitable Trust and leading Scottish Theatre organisations, launched the Scenes for Survival Hardship Fund, a fundraising campaign to raise money for those in the sector who have been hardest hit financially and are experiencing drastic economic and emotional hardship.

A project to further this fundraising comes after a film that takes the form of a musical journey through childhood and hardship with a message of positivity during the current crisis. The film that was released online on Monday 27 July and stars Richard Rankin, who sang the central song that shares the name of the film, The Longest Summer.It was written by the award-winning writing partnership of Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie, who form Noisemaker. It is to be released as a standalone single and  will be available through all major digital music distribution outlets from Tuesday 04 August.   All proceeds from the single will be donated to the Scenes for Survival Hardship Fund. 

Richard Rankin said, “It’s been a privilege to work on The Longest Summer as part of Scenes for Survival with the wonderful creative team of Noisemaker and director Jemima Levick, and I’m thrilled that the film and song have resonated with so many people already. The song release is a brilliant way to continue that connection, and a great opportunity to raise some cash for a vitally important cause.” 

The NTS project has put 32 films online to date with over 8.5million views. All content will remain online for two years and a selection of films will be shown at a later date on BBC Scotland, BBC4 and BBC Alba in the coming months.

Irene Brown

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